Bridgwater & Taunton College Wins Prestigious NSAN Award for Partnership with EDF Energy. - Bridgwater & Taunton College

The 2024 Nuclear Skills Awards, organised on behalf of the sector by NSAN (The National Skills Academy for Nuclear) and Cogent Skills, has seen the 12-year Training Provider/Employer partnership between Bridgwater & Taunton College (BTC) and EDF Energy recognised for its exceptional contribution to the development of a skilled workforce for Europe’s largest construction project – the nuclear new build at Hinkley Point C in Somerset. Not only has this partnership helped bring an entire region to a state of ‘nuclear readiness’, it also underpins the Government’s Industrial Strategy of boosting economic regeneration and productivity through skills training. 

In close collaboration with industry, and responding to identified current and future workforce needs, BTC has created bespoke training environments that mirror real engineering, manufacturing and welding workplace settings, whilst also establishing the Southern Hub of the flagship National College for Nuclear designed specifically to support training within the licensed and civil nuclear sectors.   

It has also developed and delivered ground-breaking apprenticeship programmes such as the Nuclear Engineer & Scientist Degree Apprenticeship and the Level 3 Maintenance and Operations Engineering Technician Apprenticeship, as well as a number of short-course training interventions, which between them are seeing outstanding achievement rates of 90%.  

The partnership’s success extends beyond traditional provision, with the development of an internship that offers routes into work for those with learning disabilities a particular highlight. Together, BTC and EDF Energy have fostered an inclusive work environment that accommodates diverse needs and abilities and which has seen 80% of interns progress to paid employment. This is an excellent achievement, given that on average just 4.6% of this demographic are in paid employment nationally, and has recently been recognised with the 2023/24 Association of Colleges national Beacon Award for Support for Students.  

Andy Berry, Principal and CEO of Bridgwater & Taunton College, expressed pride in the partnership, stating, “This NSAN award is a testament to our collective commitment to excellence and innovation in nuclear skills training. Through our partnership with EDF we are not only transforming the lives of individuals by preparing them for outstanding future careers, but also driving regional prosperity and positioning the UK as a leader in the global nuclear sector. This is a first for a college in the Further Education sector and clearly demonstrates how powerful a collaborative partnership can be in unlocking opportunities that benefit everyone.”  

Looking to the future, BTC plans to expand its influential role across the nuclear and renewable energy sectors, replicating its successful model to support upcoming projects like Sizewell C and Bradwell B, and contributing to the Southwest’s economic and educational landscape through strategic investments in digital and green technologies. 

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